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on January 23, 2012
The Remaining is a story of a man (one of 48 "coordinators") who is placed is placed in a bunker every time there is a potential for a "Life as we know it" altering event. Lee and his dog Tango have been in the bunker before - after 9/11 and after the Japan earthquakes and nuclear meltdown... The bunker is a nice place - fully stocked with all the comforts of home and everything that he would need to survive.

Every day, his superior officer checks in and tells him what is going on "upstairs". If the check in is missed, after 48 hrs, then he is to open the "mission box" and follow the instructions after an additional 30 days in lock down.

The author really builds the tension in the first part of the book - I actually was feeling claustrophobic and stopped reading to take the dogs outside for a while because the walls were closing in after his officer missed the check in and Lee started feeling anxious as well.

Lee must now fulfill his mission of connecting with survivors to rebuild and restore the nation but of course, that never goes as planned. No more details because those would be spoiler alerts but I will say that Lee isn't the super solider that you would expect in this type of book - he makes mistakes, things do not go smoothly, and I am ready to see what happens in the next book of the series...

This is not a "zombie" book per say - living breathing running people who have been attacked by a virus that turns them crazy and violent and they can still use tools. And, of course, we have the raiders, the idiots, the rapists, and all the crazy "non infected" that come crawling out like cockroaches to add to the excitement.

Now if only Lee had followed the rules....

Get your book today - you won't regret it...
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on February 3, 2012
The previous reviewer wrote a good synopsis of the story so I won't repeat the story line. But I want to add what I thought of this book.

The Remaining is an adrenaline pumping adventure that took me by surprise. I have read many books in the zombie genre that left me thinking that the story was just another rehashing of the same old tale. The Remaining is way more than just a zombie tale. In true classical adventure fashion The Remaining presents the reader with good and evil, disaster and the ability to overcome, and a hero in Captain Lee Harden. It reminds me of something that Louis L'Amour could have written had he ventured to tackle a TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) story. The book ends in a way that I am sure a second volume is planned also.

This is a story that has something for lovers or Post Apocalyptic fiction, Preppers, Survivalists, zombie aficionados, and those who just love a good adventure story. I had a great time reading The Remaining and highly recommend it.
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on April 16, 2012
Mr. Molles has some good ideas and conveys them with a pretty clean writing style. The Remaining is on the whole a fairly standard zombie story, wherein the hero is one of a number of trained military men salted around the country in bunkers to serve as seeds for the rebirth of the country. This of course requires a government that is remarkably far-sighted but so inept as to be unable to take any other effective steps to preserve itself against the spread of the infection. Lee, the man in the bunker, is equipped with all sorts of nifty equipment, all lovingly described, but as things play out he ends up relying more on his own training and grit to move his mission along. One of his most important tools is a canine companion, also highly trained, and I found the scenes involving "Tango" to be some of the most effective in the book.

The story follows a pretty predictable path but is entertaining nonetheless. Refreshingly, Lee is no superman and makes his share of mistakes. But he is dedicated to his mission and doesn't let the hordes of zombies stand in his way. It is not clear why the government chose to place single individuals into its bunkers, rather than teams or even families. Do such questions matter in a zombie tale? Mr. Molles has a habit of ending a chapter with a statement about what is to come next, and if he is really dedicated to such a device I recommend that he try subtler forms of foreshadowing in his future work. In sum, The Remaining is a good story that is worth a read.
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on September 13, 2012
The writing itself is good, but Lee, the main character in the book, is about as stupid as they get. Too stupid to be someone given the responsibilities that he is supposed to be entrusted with. Oh, he's armed with all the goodies that we expect that someone in his position should be armed with, but he is woeful in his tactical use of these. The further into the book we get, the more military tradecraft Lee seems to forget. Even the initial contrivance of setting up one man and a pet versus two men to achieve his mission would be crazy, as we do know how ballistic missile bunkers set up during the cold war were staffed by two men who were responsible for launching a last nuclear strike against the USSR. Teams of two are more than twice as effective as a single man, even snipers are deployed as teams of two or more men.

In the zombie genre, the thinking living are supposed to be more dangerous than the unthinking dead. Unfortunately, in this book, the living enemies of the hero are little more than cardboard cutouts of stereotypical bad guys with stereotypical motivations. Their motives are not complex, nor are their actions sensible or logical. They exist only to chase the hero and shoot at the hero and in turn to be killed by the hero. The undead seem to have more character than the living. Even Lee's acquired friends are stupid enough to make Lee seem competent by comparison. There doesn't seem to be any lessons learnt from interactions with the living or the dead, it all seems to be about Lee reacting to a sudden crisis he seems to find himself constantly part of.

Some of the descriptions of the weaponry and their effects seem wrong, and their usage is wrong, and often seem to be there to provide a wide range of descriptions of their being used to destroy the living and the dead. Set in the USA, the apparent scarcity of guns and ammunition in the book seems incongruous.

In summary, the writing itself is good, but the other aspects of plot, motivation, character and logic makes me feel that there is better zombie fiction out there that are worth spending your money and time on first.
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on October 25, 2012
Not a Great book, but not a bad one either. I have read a lot of post-apocalyptic works in the past few years (the explosion of this genre via Kindle has provided almost a glut in a previously barren wasteland, pardon the PA allegory)and this one is better than many available. It is relatively free of typos and grammatical errors and provides a decent, if short, story.

A couple of things I didn't go for: why the coordinators were single placement - another reviewer notes this but wonders whether it's important - I think it is. Given the mission of rebuilding and coordinating the redevelopment of a post-disaster world, these guys are meant to do this on their lonesome without any coordinated plan of hooking up with the other 47? Mmmm ... don't think so. Also the guy that Lee Harden appears to be in the bunker compared to the guy he is when he gets out almost reads like 2 different men; the guy he is when he is in there is a bit indecisive and plays video games: and this is the guy that's single-handedly going to coordinate the resurrection of US society? OK.

Another thing that got me a little: I'd like to think that if I was in that situation, my assets would be absolutely everything to me - Lee's house and underground bunker get torched yet he doesn't even go into the charred remains to check whether there was anything salvageable in there? I know I would have. But, then again, I'm not a Coordinator.

Finally; calling the virus FURY (an acronym for I can't recall what) was a bit naff. I think this is a bit YA style of writing and is no different from calling it MAD or ANGER, or P!SSED OFF for that matter.

OK, On the plus side: the story by and large goes well. I like the fact that, realistically, the infected aren't the only threat out there in the wasteland. The varying degrees of speed of the infected works - they are quite threatening (though more contact with them would have been good). I like the fact that they get a band of people together - that always works and enables the story arc to envelop a range of characters. I would have liked the author to have explored this more in a longer work.

Overall, good stuff, I liked it, will probably read at least one sequel when it's ready.
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on December 23, 2012
SPOILERS INCLUDED
I made it through 78% of this before just giving up due to a severe lack of caring. First, Mr. Molles is a decent writer. His pacing, structure and dialog construction are actually quite good and readable. It's also edited fairly well and isnt chock full of mis-spellings like some of these Kindle novels. The real issue here is the entire concept; which sounds interesting, but upon some further reflection is completely ridiculous. Here's why..
1: One well trained soldier per US state will rebuild the entire national government after a catastrophe. Yeah...right. Geography and population render the entire premise ludicrous.
2: The US government will outfit and equip this person with a sealed solar powered bunker containing all sorts of weapons/ammo, GPS equip, medical supplies, food/water...but only one pair of boots and he needs to use his own personally owned pick-up truck in which he leaves all sorts of personal documents detailing his name and address.
3: The US govt isn't farsighted enough to provide him with a backup bunker/cache in case the first one is damaged or compromised.
4: Super-soldier will leave this bunker/cache in the care of a 13 yr old kid he met 20 minutes ago and a German Shepherd Dog. What could go wrong ?
5: The worlds dumbest soldier will make his first foray out of this bunker into a zombie infected world with full chem protection gear but without body armor of any kind. Again...what could go wrong ?
6: Sgt Bilko here decides to allow the 13yr old kid he's known for 8 minutes to decide on whether to execute a "bad guy"...most 13yr olds can totally handle a decision like that without any psychological or emotional impact. No problem.

I could go on, but that would be pointless...like this book.
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on March 16, 2012
Good read overall -- but warning, I talk about the ending here...it's the reason I didn't rate it higher. Don't read further if you don't want to know.

The Remaining is a story of a soldier (Lee) who is charged with bunker duty when potential society-altering events occur as a "just in case" contingency plan. He has preplanned orders to follow in the event of a global disaster or other huge event -- it's a place he's been before with his canine companion Tango and each time it's been a false alarm. Until now.

Every day, his commanding officer checks in and tells him what is going on in the real world. If the call is not made, Lee has standing orders to open the mission box and follow the directions therein. The event that occurs is actually a zombie event but the author takes an interesting perspective (never uses the word zombies!!) on the global contagion that occurs. It's nice because the contagion is reasonably explained as a medical outbreak but the author doesn't delve into the typical zombie behaviors or constructs.

Lee is instructed by the mission box to gather survivors and rebuild society. He leaves his bunker to accomplish this and the following story is engaging, well-paced and interesting. He runs into belieable characters and tries to accomplish his mission to the best of his ability, against survivors who arent' always happy to follow the plan. The bulk of the story is his effort to gather the survivors and begin to organize them.

Two things prevent me from giving this more than three starts. First, it's way too short. Not very fulfilling in terms of length. Second, it ends like you are running into a brick wall. He ends up finding his small band of refugees a safe haven and is recuperating in the makeshift infirmary...and here's the last line:

"Gunfire startled him awake. His dreams had becdome reality."

This occurs on the bottom of the page and I nearly broke my finger trying to flip to the next page. Really? Such a good story with good momentum and you're going to do us like that? Ugh.
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on March 8, 2012
SPOILER:::Please don't read this if you haven't read the book!
I was totally captivated by the premise of this book at the outset. The idea of rescuers being pre-positioned before a disaster was interesting and unique (I thought). I have probably read (too many) 50 Zombie/Apocalyptic novels and this was the first to have a fool-proof "safe zone"....well-described and thought out. I realize that things don't always work out the way you want them to but when the vault was destroyed the story reverted right back to your basic hit and run zombie tale: scrappy cadres of survivors scuttering from place to place, always the minority, always about to perish. We've all read dozens of the same thing.
As soon as the vault was breached and his home destroyed the clever hook that the author created was gone. It was just one more zombie story. Somehow the author could have carved out a tale of resistance and slow but steady recovery. Maybe the author could pick up several parallel stories growing out of the "other 47" safe-zones in something more complex like World War Z.
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on February 13, 2012
I gave this book 4 stars because, though it is very good, there are some gaping holes in the story. I am hoping that those holes will be filled in with a second book. I will definitely buy the next book in the series and I am truly looking forward to it.
I encourage everyone to read this book- your only disappointment will be that it ends and you must wait for the next installment.
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on July 29, 2012
The good:

Unlike many other of these self-published and self-edited offerings, this title is actually understandable without having to go back and reconstruct whole paragraphs in order to understand the narrative.

The ability to describe environment and actions is good. Not too wordy, which is important.

The premise holds a lot of promise. Telling a good story starts with a good idea. This series has that idea.

The bad:

With the framework for a good story, and both editing and narrative talent in place, you would think this would be fiction that would be hard to put down, once you started reading. Sadly, that's just not the case. For me, it boils down to the inadequacies of the protagonist. I first saw this trend when David Brin's "The Postman" was released, and I've seen it too many times since then. Introduce a character thrown head first into the deep end of the survival pool, and watch him stumble from disasterous error to idiotic misjudgements...and never let him "man up".

"The Remaining" and it's sequel take a main character who should already be savvy and competent, and has him screwing up by the numbers throughout both books. Capt. Lee Harden isn't some grocery clerk...he's supposed to be a commissioned officer in the US Army Special Forces. The guy is supposed to be an Operator with tours in Afganistan behind him, yet Molles writes him like barely knows which end the bullet comes out of. I'm always leery of snap judgements, but I tend to believe that the author has no experience in combat situations.

In conclusion:

I won't be paying for anything else by Mr. Molles (if it is, indeed, a male author). But, judge for yourself. Caveat emptor.
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